With 3 of the 4 Conference semifinals series being decided, and the 4th one headed to a Game 7 on Tuesday night, we’re getting ready for the Conference finals. In the East, neither of the top 2 seeds will be vying for a spot in the finals, while the Denver Nuggets are trying to put a stop to the all-Los Angeles conference finals. Let’s preview the upcoming games in the playoffs so you can bet on their NBA odds.
Rundown on NBA Playoff Games
We’re going to see the Boston Celtics take on the Miami Heat for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. It took the Celtics 7 games, but they were finally able to knock off the defending NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors. The Heat thoroughly dominated the NBA’s top regular season team in defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 4-1.
Both of these teams are very similar in their make-up. Both of these teams are very versatile, and can play different styles of basketball. Miami has the better shooting team, while Boston has more “slashers”. Both of these teams can also do many different things defensively, and have the ability to switch on screens when they need to.
One thing that may be in Miami’s favor, is the fact that the Celtics just played in a 7-game series, and could be fatigued. With Game 1 of the Conference Finals taking place on Wednesday night, Boston will have a lot less time to rest than Miami did. With Boston also not having the depth that the Heat does, this could be an issue early on in the series.
Gordon Hayward will be making his return from an ankle sprain in the Conference Finals. He will provide an offensive boost to the Celtics. Hayward will add the perimeter shooting that the Celtics lacked in the Toronto series.
Two players that we think will play key roles in this series will be Marcus Smart of the Celtics, and Duncan Robinson of the Heat. Smart played well in the Toronto series, and picked up the scoring slack when Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown, and Kemba Walker struggled. Duncan Robinson is averaging nearly 3 3-pointers per game in the playoffs. If he can get on a roll, he’ll open things up for the Heat.
Boston won the season series 2-1. Like the season series, this series should be very competitive, as both teams are fairly evenly matched.
The Lakers will be waiting for either the Nuggets or the Clippers. The Lakers disposed of the Rockets 3-1, as LeBron James and Anthony Davis dominated Houston. The duo proved to be too much for Houston. The Lakers also stepped up their defensive effort, and played at a level that they had not played at during the regular season. The Lakers committed themselves to stopping the Rockets offensive attack, and that was a big key in their series.
The Lakers will be awaiting either the Denver Nuggets or the Los Angeles Clippers. The Nuggets have stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to take this series to a 7th game. The Clippers have the better team on paper, but the Nuggets have figured out a way to solve the superior defense of the Clippers.
Whoever wins will be facing a short turnaround to face the Lakers, and that could be an issue in the series. Whether it be the Clippers or the Nuggets, the Lakers will have their work cut out for them.